The Los Angeles Dodgers have a good chance at extending their impressive series streak when Clayton Kershaw takes the mound Thursday in the finale of a four-game set against the Miami Marlins.
Kershaw has won two straight starts and is 7-2 in his last nine decisions. He has thrown back-to-back eight-inning games and held the Philadelphia Phillies scoreless in Saturday's 5-0 win. Kershaw scattered three hits, struck out eight and walked one batter to push his record to 12-7 in 26 starts to go along with a 1.80 earned run average.
The left-hander and 2011 NL Cy Young Award recipient is 5-3 in 12 road assignments this season and 4-1 with a 2.38 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins. Kershaw won both meetings against the Marlins last season and is unbeaten in the last three meetings with them (3-0, 1.54 ERA).
Kershaw leads the majors in ERA (1.80), opponents' batting average (.182), innings pitched (190.1) and WHIP (0.85), while the Dodgers have scored 24 runs in his last four wins.
Miami will counter with Henderson Alvarez, who is 2-2 with a 3.41 earned run average in nine starts. Alvarez lost to San Francisco on Saturday, as he surrendered four runs in seven innings of a 6-4 setback.
Alvarez, a right-hander, has given up 11 runs in his last three appearances and has never faced the Dodgers. The Marlins have lost Alvarez's last three starts and are 3-6 when he takes the mound this season.
Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi ran into some trouble in Wednesday's 4-1 loss and allowed three runs, two earned, and six hits in seven innings. The Dodgers got him for three runs in the top of the fourth and Eovaldi allowed a run on a throwing error in the frame to hurt his cause. Hanley Ramirez hit an RBI double and Andre Ethier plated a run with a base hit.
"We make way too many mistakes out there to be able to win a game against a team like this," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "When you give a team like the Dodgers extra chances, they'll beat you every time."
Giancarlo Stanton homered and has gone deep three times in the last five games with five RBI in that stretch for a Marlins club that has lost six of its last 10 games. Ed Lucas and Adeiny Hechavarria each recorded two hits off Dodgers starter Zack Greinke, who struck out seven and gave up a run in eight solid innings.
"Maybe I'm pitching better than I realize," said Greinke. "I just haven't been making a ton of mistakes and fixes some mechanical stuff. My changeup has been the best it's been in my career."
Greinke has won four straight starts and Los Angeles is unbeaten in his last five trips to the hill. L.A. starters have a 16-2 record in their last 25 games since July 26.
Dodgers young phenom Yasiel Puig was 0-for-5 and Adrian Gonzalez finished hitless in three at-bats. Both of them scored a run, however.
The NL West-leading Dodgers, who have an 8 1/2-game lead on Arizona in the division, are 27-5 since the All-Star break and have won 21 of the last 24 road games dating back to July 7. They're also 44-10 since June 22 and 13-0-4 in the past 17 series.
Los Angeles leads the National League with 258 runs over the 54-game span and is 4-2 on a seven-game eastern road trip. The Dodgers will return to Chavez Ravine for nine straight starting with Friday's game versus Boston.
The Dodgers took two of three versus Miami from May 10-12 this season.